In just five years, Minecraft has gone from being a cult indie title to become one of the world’s most successful entertainment franchises.
Often described as virtual Lego, Minecraft is an online game that lets people build fantasy worlds and drop in on past creations.
With over 50m users worldwide and sales of the PC/Mac version averaging an astonishing 16,000 a day, the blocky juggernaut shows no signed of abating, with the game’s incredible popularity recently prompting tech giant Microsoft to buyout the game’s Swedish developer Mojang for a massive $2.5bn.
Minecraft came in an impressive third place third behind behemoths Super Mario Bros. and Call of Duty in an online poll of 5,000 readers of the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition book to find out their favourite game.
To mark the achievement, here we list ten incredible records linked to the gaming phenomenon.
Longest Videogame Marathon on Minecraft
Austrian endurance player Martin Fornleitner spent a staggering 24 hours and 10 minutes on his Sony Xperia Play handset playing Minecraft to earn him a place in the record books in 2011 .
Remarkably, the 19 year-old achieved the record in a glass container in Vienna under the watchful eye of the public and claimed tiredness was his biggest battle throughout the record attempt.
Martin suggests a lot of practice is needed if anyone was ever interested in taking on his record and, also, a good music playlist to keep you interested (and awake).
First country modelled at full scale in a videogame
In April 2014 the Danish Geodata Agency launched a 1:1 scale recreation of Denmark in Minecraft, featuring every building and feature of the 43,000-sq-km country for players to explore.
The project was designed to promote the agency as well as to help teach urban planning and geography in schools.
Pic: Thorbjørn Nielsen
The vast map comprised of 3.4 billion blocks just for the terrain; including trees and structures with its creators estimating that the total number of blocks used was around 4 billion. Uncompressed, the maps come to around a terabyte of data in total.
Best-selling indie videogame
Although its console versions are published by the big studios, the original Minecraft, published by Mojang, was a true indie hit. As of 7 August 2014, the official site for the game listed total PC and Mac sales at 16,176,201, a number slightly greater than the entire population of Ecuador. Prior to Microsoft’s buyout Mojang operated with a staff headcount of just 40 employees.
Longest Minecraft tunnel
The longest tunnel in Minecraft ever created consisted of 10,502 blocks (equating to 10,502 m; 34,455 ft) and was built by Lachlan Etherton (Australia) at the EB Games store in Greenwith, Australia, on 3 August 2013. The digging and mining took around 50 minutes to complete, the lighting of the tunnel took 20 minutes and the full walkthrough of the tunnel to complete the record attempt lasted 10 minutes.
Longest journey in Minecraft
In March 2011, Kurt J. Mac began an epic journey to the edge of Minecraft’s vast world in “Survival” mode, recording his travels on his YouTube channel “Far Lands or Bust!”. He uses his annual checks of how far he’s walked to collect money for charity. On 6 March 2014, three years into the trek, he discovered he’d walked 1,479.9 km, or 1,479,940 blocks, from his original spawn.
Minecraft’s “Far Lands” are found at the edge of the playable area of worlds created in Minecraft’s beta versions, about 12,550 km from the original spawn point. Here, tiny errors in the original programming of the game produce strange anomalies.
Most popular videogame beta (total registered users)
Minecraft was already a massive hit even before its official release, clocking up over 10 million registered users while the game was in beta testing between 2009 and 2011.
Most played Xbox LIVE Arcade videogame
As of May 2014, players of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Mojang/4J Studios, 2012) had spent a total of 1.75 billion hours – or 199,772 years – playing the game, making it the most-played title in Xbox Live Arcade’s history. It’s also the fastest- and highest-selling game on Microsoft’s downloadable game marketplace.
Biggest indie videogame convention
Some 7,500 people attended MineCon 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 2–3 November 2013. MineCon has been an annual fixture for diehard Minecraft aficionados since its inception in 2010. The first event, more of an informal get-together, attracted around 50 fans. In 2011, the number jumped to 4,500.
Most concurrent players in one Minecraft world
Minecraft isn’t really designed for supporting hundreds of players in a world at once, so when the popular YouTube Minecraft-specializing channel Yogscast squeezed 2,622 players together on 1 August 2011, it was hardly playable. But they were all together nonetheless.
Most viewed fan film based on a videogame
The overall most popular fan film based on a videogame of any genre is called “‘Revenge’ – A Minecraft Parody of Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love – Crafted Using Noteblocks”. Based on Minecraft, the video was uploaded to YouTube by user “CaptainSparklez” in August 2011 and had been viewed 139,888,399 times as of 7 August 2014.
Source: All of these Minecraft records and many more appear in in Guinness World Records 2015 Gamer’s Edition which is out now.